21
Jun
08

Things I’ve still not written

Another post about blogging. Sorry, Bruce.

I look at all I’ve written over the past year and a half and can’t complain about not being able to post regularly. Still there’s so much more I’ve wanted to post, but haven’t been able to get around to it.

I wanted to post:

  • At least one write-up of our trip to Mallorca last October, though I could write six. Yes, Mallorca, that German-package-tourist-hell-on-rollerblades. Know what? It was wonderful. Really, it was a great trip. Maybe photos and a few captions will have to do.
  • A supplementary page to A Month in South Africa and Lesotho, because we’ve actually done two months there, but three years apart. The page with photos and write-up is of our more recent trip. The first trip was very different, but still worth writing about.
  • An obituary, a eulogy, a letter I wish I’d written while he was alive to a special person and old friend from Quebec who died back in November, 2007. I got the news three weeks too late to even send something to be read out at his funeral.
  • Another one involving death, this time someone who interviewed and rejected me for a job as reporter at the South China Morning Post in 1994 when I first arrived in Hong Kong. I found out only a few months ago he’d died in 2000, an apparent suicide in London.
  • More on Paris. It was a very multi-layered, multi-textured encounter; a reunion, a look back, a look ahead, a language lesson, a mini second honeymoon.
  • A tragically hilarious account of a trip to Bucharest for work in early April, just before booking off sick for more than a week.
  • A follow-up to a post in January where I promised to later post some translated excerpts of a book I read in French and whose English translation won’t be out until September. A lot of readers said they were looking forward to it. I’ve read the book, but still have to deliver on the follow-up.

Those are just the ones I can name.

I have another two dozen drafts sitting in the queue, waiting for some more bone, blood and flesh. They’re like scraps of paper, really. Sometimes I wish they weren’t stacked up in such a straight, orderly line, because it takes away from the experimental feel to it.

Are two dozen drafts a lot or a few?  Blogging guru Lorelle says you should write your drafts and then publish right away so that your ideas don’t go stale. I think she has a point. The problem with letting things sit around in draft mode is there is no longer any urgency. I can write them anytime, so that’s when they get written: Whenever.

Or maybe I’m just lazy and have been taking the easy way out. Looking over that list, I know that each one of them would be a time-consuming challenge. The eulogy has to have just the right tone. The South Africa and Mallorca travel write-ups involve all that photo sorting and uploading. The Hong Kong/London suicide story might take a couple of telephone calls to sort out an unanswered question or two.

And besides, it’s summer.  Who wants to blog?


8 Responses to “Things I’ve still not written”


  1. June 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    It is a strange phenomena, the longer we blog the more we have to say. Over the last six months, life has become so busy and I’ve gotten into the habit of writing drafts in a journal. Recently, I went back through my journal and, like you, was surprised to see all of the skeleton of posts waiting to be written. I’m going to change this tactic. Any ideas how to turn a rough draft into a finished version inside a short window of time?

  2. 2 SBW
    June 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Yes. Oh yeah.

    Sometimes I look around the blog for that really cool post I wrote and then remember that I never wrote it except in my head or in a paper notebook under the heading “Really Cool Ideas for Blog.”

  3. June 22, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    lilalia – I guess the solution there would be to set a goal of one hour, say, to complete the post. If it’s not done by then, publish what you have. Thing is, I can’t just publish for its own sake.

    sbw – that’s why I carry around a notebook – for things I see and think about. Don’t use it often enough, actually.

  4. June 22, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Draft blog entries are like draft emails, they never get written or saved. When I have the time to write, the blog moves – when not it can stay still for a few days. Have I always got something useful to say? well look at my post tonight on java thread dump analysis who knows, but its the thought and sharing those thoughts that counts I guess.

    Keep blogging away in the method that keeps you happy. Dont change it or over analyse it, theres something probably far more precious you could be doing with the time

    phil

  5. June 23, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I’ve never had more than one post at a time saved as a draft. But then I post some posts that could’ve been better quite often :P

  6. June 23, 2008 at 4:24 am

    I do! I do! Want to blog in summer that is. I started my last blog a year ago in summer and you used to visit, though I have since deleted it. (Individual Voice ring a bell?) Anyway, in my opinion, blogging shouldn’t have to be this burden you carry around. I say forget all the notes and lists. Just sit down and wait for something to pop, like popcorn, and just see what comes out. You may end up with a post that contains elements of several of those categories. Who am I to say? I’m such a compulsive blogger I have to restrain myself from posting because it is such an effective distraction from my other writing.

  7. June 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I´m a compulsive blogger at home but now that I´m on holidays…..

  8. 8 Jul
    July 7, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Ah, I know the feeling. Recent trips that would have been star blog posts 2 years ago haven’t even been mentioned… and I have tons of ideas that never seem to get written. And at least a handful of drafts, too. Such is blogging.

    I’m considering staging my own post-every-day month so that I can force some of these ideas out.


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